People with AIDS are prone to opportunistic infections due to their immunodeficient state, ranging from fungal infections in the mouth to respiratory infections. The use of conventional drugs can provide valuable temporary relief; however, occasional or repeated use of these drugs takes its own toll on their health and immune system, and thus provides short-term relief but longer-term immune complications. Safer therapies that are not as physiologically disruptive as conventional drugs are necessary for the long-term improvement of people with AIDS. Homeopathic medicines can play an important role in the treatment of these opportunistic infections.
One of the advantages of using homeopathy in treating people with AIDS is that they tend to get various unusual symptoms, diseases, and syndromes which evade immediate diagnosis. A homeopath, however, can prescribe a remedy before a definitive conventional diagnosis is made. Because homeopathic medicines are prescribed on the basis of a person's unique pattern of symptoms, a conventional diagnosis is not necessary for a curative remedy to be prescribed.
Treatment of People with AIDS
Despite the seemingly positive results that homeopathic medicines provide for people who are HIV+, for those with early onset of AIDS, and for those with nonextreme cases of AIDS, most homeopaths do not observe significant improvement in treating people who have advanced stages of AIDS. That said, it should also be noted that there are exceptions to this general rule, and numerous homeopaths find that select patients with advanced stages of AIDS experience dramatic improvement in their quality of life.
The experience of Bill Gray, MD, a homeopath in Davis, California, is typical of many homeopaths. He has had 33 AIDS patients, only three of whom have survived. The remaining three patients were the only ones who insisted on avoiding AZT and ddI (another popular AIDS drug). Dr. Gray has also had 30 HIV+ patients for an average of five years, only one of whom developed AIDS. Although this one patient has suffered from two bouts of pneumocystis pneumonia, he is actually doing quite well under homeopathic treatment.
Dr. Gray and most homeopaths utilize classical homeopathy in the treatment of people with AIDS, using a single remedy prescribed individually to the unique pattern of symptoms experienced by the patient. This highly individualized treatment generally includes the use of homeopathic medicines which are highly potentized (usually higher than the 200th potency).
Because of the urgency of some AIDS patients' situations, some homeopaths experiment with new homeopathic remedies and with nonclassical approaches to homeopathy. For instance, Dr. Elliot Blackman, an osteopathic physician in San Francisco, occasionally prescribes Cyclosporin in homeopathic doses as an intercurrent medicine (an intercurrent medicine is one that is prescribed after another medicine which is individually determined). In conventional doses, Cyclosporin is an immunosuppressing drug, thus suggesting that it can be effective in homeopathic doses for treating people who have an immunosuppressed condition (this prescription is not "classical homeopathy" because each immunosuppressing drug creates its own unique pattern of symptoms, and the classical use of this drug would be more individualized).
In addition to the nonclassical approach, some homeopaths have been experimenting with giving AIDS patients homeopathically potentized doses of their own blood. The clinical benefit of this approach, however, has not yet been systematically tested.